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Are You Getting Enough Sleep to Lose Weight?

When it comes to weight loss, the obvious game plan comes to mind. I need to eat better and get involved with some type of exercise program. There are, however, several people that do both of those and still have trouble shedding a few extra pounds because of factors that are outside of the gym and in the foods we are eating. Here are some of the things you probably DON'T think about when trying to lose weight.


We all know how important a good night’s sleep is to feeling energized and ready to rock a busy day at work. What we don’t talk about is the effect sleep has on our metabolism and our ability to gain or lose weight. Here are a few things research shows how sleep affects your weight goals.

  1. Lack of sleep triggers a spike in cortisol (your stress hormone). This forces us to conserve energy in our body for our waking hours. Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal. They also felt less satisfied with a lack of energy post meals.

  2. Within just 4 days of insufficient sleep, your body’s ability to process Insulin-- a hormone needed to change sugar, starches, and other food into energy -- goes awry. Insulin sensitivity, the researchers found, dropped by more than 30%. When your body doesn't respond properly to Insulin, your body has trouble processing fats from your bloodstream, so it ends up storing them as fat.

  3. It’s not so much that if you sleep, you’ll lose weight, but that too little sleep hampers your metabolism and contributes to weight gain.



This one seems obvious because starting some type of exercise program is very common when someone wants to lose weight or improve fitness. In terms of total movement, we want to shift our mindset to improving our Total Movement for the week and not just how many 30-60-minute workouts you can squeeze in each week.

And here’s why  -  Think about how much you sit in your standard weekday. The average American sits 13 hours per day and sleeps 8 hours per day. That is 21 total hours of not being active. We need to have a total movement goal to help boost our energy output and help get our metabolism back on track. Solely depending on two to three 30-60-minute workouts usually isn’t enough total activity to make the changes people are looking for.

So what’s the solution?

This is where total movement tracking can really make a massive difference. Step counters have become very popular and there are several companies like Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin that make devices to help track how active we are. At Elevate SPC, we are a huge fan of these gadgets because they really give us that shift in mindset to MOVE more often on top of our current training goals in the gym. The average American gets around 5,000 steps per day and your body gets very adapted to how you move and how much energy is needed to make those 5,000 steps happen. We often see by simply increasing total movement or steps to 7,500 - 10,000 steps per day, we start to see more weight loss take place with the same nutrition and exercise program that they already started. Start setting your total movement goal each day and you could be very surprised at how it impacts your weight loss goal.



Drinking water is something we need for survival as humans but it’s also something that can have a big impact on our weight loss goals. So how does water affect my weight loss goals?  

Water fills you up!  -   Water is a natural appetite suppressant.

A 2010 Virginia Tech study followed 48 adults over 12 weeks who were dieting. Participants were split into two groups: one that followed a low-calorie diet and another that followed that same diet but drank 500 ml (about 2 cups) of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the end of the 12 weeks, the group that drank more water lost an average of 5lbs more than the other group. They also ate 75-90 less calories each meal with the addition of the water.

Water is needed to burn fat  -  Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates. The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with fat cells to create glycerol. Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from our foods and drinks, as well as stored fats.

So how much water do I need to drink?

Our Golden rule for water consumption is simple. We recommend HALF your body weight in ounces per day as a good minimum goal. If you are a very active it could be even more than that. We recently started to use the Hidrate Spark 2.0 water bottle that tracks your hydration for you! Ask one of our coaches at Elevate SPC for more information on how to get one set up for you. Start getting your water to keep the momentum going on your weight loss goals!

At Elevate SPC, we are lucky to have Coach Zoe Albright. She specializes in behavioral & lifestyle management and how it relates to nutrition and goal setting. She is a Precision Nutrition Certified consultant and has helped so many team members get started on the right track and identify what’s holding them back to achieving their goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to Coach Zoe for nutrition, recipes, goal setting ideas, or if you just need to hear an expert opinion. 

Did you know Coach Zoe posts a new, nutritious and delicious recipe every Monday?  Make sure you like our FaceBook page, you don't want to miss one!  https://www.facebook.com/elevatespc/